Recently many new flagship phones from major brands have incorporated a dual camera setup on their rear, with the iPhone 8 Plus, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and many others embracing the trend. It is safe to say that the popularity of dual cameras is growing, and indications are that it is going to be even more prevalent in the future.
Although dual camera smartphones may seem to have only surfaced over the last year or so, the truth is that they were introduced long before that. As far back as 2011 both the LG Optimus 3D and HTC Evo 3D used a dual camera setup – but both of those smartphones were designed to capture 3D photos and images, and the cameras did not function in the way that dual cameras do today.
From that point dual cameras have evolved, and today they are largely used to increase the quality of the photos that are captured. The manner in which smartphones implement this varies however, and today’s dual camera setups run the gamut between capturing sharper images, taking photos with a shallow depth of field, enabling an ultra-wide angle mode, or adding a small amount of optical zoom.
In short the dual camera on smartphones can be used for a wide range of different purposes depending on the nature of its secondary camera, and the various different types of setups that are available currently certainly reflect that. Ultimately however the goal is to make every photo look better, and the results from smartphones such as the iPhone 8 Plus, Google Pixel, and iPhone 7 Plus epitomize its potential to achieve just that.
It is worth pointing out that two is not necessarily better than one in all cases, and many smartphone manufacturers are still focusing on improving the photos taken via a single lens. That being said the inclusion of two lenses does provide certain unique features such as HDR, bokeh, and better long exposure shots – all of which have proven to be attractive to consumers. On single lens cameras certain effects such as bokeh can only be reproduced with photo editing software such as Movavi Photo Editor.
Additionally dual cameras have a lot of promise when in fields involving Augmented Reality (AR). Instead of simply improving the quality of photos, a dual-camera setup on an AR-enabled smartphone will help it to track the position of objects that are around it. Some dual camera smartphones such as the Asus ZenFone AR and Lenovo Phab 2 Pro already use this setup, and as AR grows in popularity via initiatives such as Google Tango – more are likely to do so.
Simply put dual cameras have a lot of room for growth, and in many ways the current generation still haven’t reached their full potential. For now it is likely that the promise of better photos and unique effects is going to continue to fuel their popularity, and as AR begins to become more widely-used that is likely to boost it further.